Sibol

Sibol is your one-stop-shop for your coffee needs: Local coffee, muscovado sugar, and coco sugar. They also offer other local and organic products such as fresh vegetables, brown and red rice, etc.

FACT: The average meal travels 1200 km from the farm to plate. Food that is grown closer to home will therefore have fewer transportation emissions associated with it, and also be fresher and support local farmers. And as the distance food travels decreases, so does the need for processing and refrigeration to reduce spoilage. Read more… For more information on Sibol: http://sibolpeoplesstore.yolasite.com

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Kwebang Lampas Weekend

Kwebang Lampas, Pagbilao Quezon, Philippines.

Kwebang Lampas, Pagbilao Quezon, Philippines.

Simplified beach life at Kwebang Lampas. No electricity, no amenities.

  • We took the bus from Manila to Lucena Grand Terminal via JAC Liner.
  • P209.00 / head (one way)
  • No stop over
  • 3-4 hours road trip

Buy everything you need at Pamilihang Bayan ng Pagbilao (Local market). Include these:

  • Three 5 gallons of water
  • A styro ice box
  • Food + Snacks
  • Drinks
  • Ponkan Ponkan Ponkan (an ideal beach snack)
  • Native fan (pamaypay)
Eat where the locals eat.

Eat where the locals eat.

  • Puto – P20.00 for 5 pcs.
  • Biko – P15.00 each
  • 7Up – P8.00
  • Cassava Cake – P35 / box

Getting there:

  • Rented jeep – P1,700 (good for 20pax)
  • Boat ride to Kwebang Lampas – P100.00 (inclusive of entrance fee)
  • Trek duration – 10mins.

Pack light. Bring only what you need. Must have:

  • Your own tent
  • Tissue paper
  • Black trash bag
  • Lots of drinking water
  • Hammok
  • Sarong
  • Travel towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Swimsuit
  • Shads + Cap
  • Power bank for your gadgets
  • Flashlight
  • Camp Kitchen (knife, paper plates, chopsticks, can opener, etc.)
  • Air pillow
  • Aqua shoes
  • Action camera (GoPro w/ extra batteries)

Simple amenities on the island:

  • Water for bathing (5galons) = P50.00
  • Drinking water (small bottle) = P40.00
  • Ice (nawasa) = P20 – P50.00
  • Weewee = P1.00
  • No.2 P5.00

GOPR3066

Bring aqua shoes! If you want to enter the cave, wear slippers or aqua shoes. You’ll thank me for it!

My home for the night. A very good purchase indeed. Coleman's Peak1 tent (good for 2 pax) proved to be a good tent during this trip. Waterproof, good ventilation, and spacious!

My home for the night. A very good purchase indeed. Coleman’s Peak1 tent (good for 2 pax) proved to be a good investment during this trip. Waterproof, good ventilation, and spacious!

The campsite

The campsite

Morning dip!

Morning dip!

Island hopping cost – P3,500 / roundtrip (good for 25pax). We visited Borawan but it was too crowded. We decided to skip Dampalitan too because it would be the same case. So manong Edwin took us to a sand bar. It was perfect! Just us and a place where we could swim privately.

Read with your feet, travel!

Read with your feet, travel!

Thank you #mamech!

Conquering Valencia

May 07, 2013, Valencia, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. An adventure  like no other with cycling buddy, Tina dela Cruz. Highlights were visiting the market, breakfast at the boulevard, bathing in the river, and conquering Valencia.

Buying breakfast and souvenir at the Dumaguete Public Market

Buying breakfast and souvenir at the Dumaguete Public Market

Looking for local breakfast

Looking for local breakfast

Tina having some local breakfast made.

Tina having some local sandwich made.

Riding with my bayong and boom box

Riding with my bayong and boom box

On our way out, this "ATM" machine made us very happy.

On our way out, this “ATM” machine made us very happy.

Going local is always the best.

For me and Tina, going local is always the best way to go.

Breakfast at the boulevard

Breakfast at the boulevard

A morning to behold

A morning to behold

Immediately after breakfast, we pedaled our way to Mt. Valencia

Immediately after breakfast, we pedaled our way to Mt. Valencia

The road ahead

The road ahead

On our way to Valencia, we passed by this river/stream

On our way to Valencia, we passed by this river/stream

We crossed the bridge and took a dip

We crossed the bridge and took a dip

The water was too beautiful to ignore.

The water was too beautiful to ignore.

The water was cold and clean. First time river bathers. What an experience!

The water was cold and clean. First time river bathers. What an experience!

A few meters from us were local women washing their clothes and bathing their children.

A few meters from us were local women washing their clothes and bathing their children.

Up up we go

Up up we go

Bike weather

Surrounded by green.

Meeting an american cyclist on the road. Tim has lived in Dumaguete for 25 years and has a Filipina wife.

Meeting an american cyclist on the road. Tim has lived in Dumaguete for 25 years and has a Filipina wife.

When we got hungry or thirsty, we stopped. There was no rushing. We made sure we tasted and experienced local delights on our journey.

When we got hungry or thirsty, we stopped. There was no rushing. We made sure we tasted and experienced local delights on our journey.

I got too tired so we hitched a ride to Valencia town proper.

I got too tired so we hitched a ride to Valencia town proper.

Thank you Manong! Apparently, the muti-cab we rode was the property of Valencia municipality. So we got a free ride!

Thank you Manong! Apparently, the muti-cab we rode was the property of Valencia municipality. So we got a free ride!

Here was where we left our bikes. A carinderia just in front of the plaza. We just knew that our bikes would be safe here.

Here was where we left our bikes. A carinderia just in front of the plaza. We just knew that our bikes would be safe here.

The road to the Writer's Village was not going to be flat and smooth so we were advised to take the habal habal.

The road to the Writer’s Village was not going to be flat and smooth so we were advised to take the habal habal.

The road to the Writer's Village was misty and cold, they call this place the little Baguio of Dumaguete City.

The road to the Writer’s Village was misty and cold, they call this place the little Baguio of Dumaguete City.

Finally, after about 15kms of habal habal ride, we arrived at the Writer's Village.

Finally, after about 15kms of habal habal ride, we arrived at the Writer’s Village.

the Writer's Village

The Writer’s Village

The Writer's Village

The Writer’s Village

Meeting up with Tracy.

Meeting up with Tracy.

Then it was time to say goodbye.

Then it was time to say goodbye.

We took a habal habal back to Valencia town proper, and of course our bikes were still there. Had lunch at a local carinderia, then pedaled our way back to Dumaguete City, about 12kms of downhill. Fun! Thank you Tina for the unforgettable experience.

We took a habal habal back to Valencia town proper, and of course our bikes were still there. Had lunch at a local carinderia, then pedaled our way back to Dumaguete City, about 12kms of downhill. Fun! Thank you Tina for the unforgettable experience.

Thank you to the gentle people of Dumaguete city. We shall return for sure! More PHOTOS.

Escolta 98B

Bike date today with Miko Pepito from Mandaluyong – Makati – Quiapo – Escolta – Binondo – then back to Mandaluyong. Highlight of the day was at Saturday Market X Future Market at ESCOLTA.

Of course I had one made.

Share The Road bike plate by Mang Tony.

Arriving at Escolta, Manila

Arriving at Escolta, Manila

CREATIVES meet VINTAGE! Imagine artworks and antiques all housed in one charming relic from our past! The place to find these treasures is at the former location of the Berg’s Department Store. If you love artist-made merchandise, DIY stuff, independent labels, limited-edition handmade crafts and works of art, If you like hunting for dated accessories, old-fashioned clothes, period posters or period pieces… this is for you!

CREATIVES meet VINTAGE! Imagine artworks and antiques all housed in one charming relic from our past! The place to find these treasures is at the former location of the Berg’s Department Store. If you love artist-made merchandise, DIY stuff, independent labels, limited-edition handmade crafts and works of art, If you like hunting for dated accessories, old-fashioned clothes, period posters or period pieces… this is for you! (from 98B)

Not Made In China. This one was my favorite booth.

Not Made In China. This one was my favorite booth.

Live performance art by the group Sipatlawin (I think)

Live performance art by the group Sipat.

Artworks by Street Children

Sharing art with street children

Installation Art

Installation Art

Escolta is the new Mall

“Manila is my space”

Here was where I found myself.

“Find Myself”

For the love of art!

For the love of art, just buy anything. Support Local Artists.

Or we could just hang out too.

Or we could just hang out too.

Photographing and Framing Manila.

Photographing and Framing Manila.

Organic

Organic

Postcards

Postcards

For more information on Escolta Artisan Market, please go to https://www.facebook.com/98Bcollaboratory

Amazing Azalea

An unexpected beauty is how I would describe Azalea. A cafe/resto that sits on top of a mountain where you can view nature’s priceless elements: the sea, a stream below, and the vast mountains of Sibulan.

Riding our bikes from Dumaguete to Sibulan, about 19km.

Riding our bikes from Dumaguete to Sibulan, about 19km.

Riding the coastline of Sibulan is breathtaking.

Riding the coastline of Sibulan is breathtaking.

A quick stop to hydrate and take a photo.

A quick stop to hydrate and take a photo.

At the foot of the road going to Azalea/Twin Lakes.

At the foot of the road going to Azalea/Twin Lakes.

I highly recommend to ride the habal habal when going up to Azalea. Cycling up there is strictly for hardcore bikers only.

Ride the habal habal. Cycling to Azalea is for hardcore bikers only. Believe me.

We finally made it up!

We finally made it up!

Entrance to Azalea Restaurant.

Entrance to Azalea Restaurant.

"It ain't ain't over 'til it's over." Became our motto for our non-stop adventures.

“It ain’t ain’t over ’til it’s over.” Became our motto for our non-stop adventures.

The grand view from Azalea.

The grand view from Azalea.

Once up there, one must have a cup of coffee and a cookie.

Once up there, one must have a cup of coffee and a cookie.

And of coures, I brought my own pumpkin seed snacks. Never without my seeds.

And of coures, I brought my own pumpkin seed snacks. Never without my seeds.

MORE PHOTOS HERE

Off the beaten path, 19 kms north of Dumaguete, in San Jose, is Azalea – a restaurant perched 289 meters above sea level on a mountain slope overlooking a spectacular ravine. Just 8 kilometers further up the mountain is the popular tourist destination, the Twin Lakes of Balinsasayao – 2 rain-filled craters 918 meters above sea level. Azalea is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life in Dumaguete without straying too far.

This is the exact same route to take going to Lake Balinsasayao. Take the highway from Dumaguete going north, passing through the Municipality of Sibulan. After around 14 kms, you’ll see the big sign on the left side of the highway saying “Twin Lakes (Balinsasayao and Danao)”. Take a left on this junction. You’ll start gaining altitude. You should see Azalea on your left about 5.2 kms from the junction. 8 kms further up the mountain takes you to Lake Balinsasayao.

(source: http://www.coconutinsider.com/)

Baguio Weekday Special

Last week, I had the opportunity to accompany my good friend and “Brother” from Turkey, Mustafa Ince on a road trip to the Northern parts of the Philippines. Our first destination, The Hundred Island in Alaminos, Pangasinan. It was also my first time to visit this amazing cluster of islands and the experience was just unforgettable. A highly recommended place to visit especially for tourists who are itchy to see the many beautiful islands in the Philippines.

Our second stop, Baguio, also known as the city of pines. We headed to Mount Santo Tomas, a point in Baguio where one could see the entire city. Best way to go there is to bring your own car with a local guide. To get to the peak it would take about 45mins. The view is just phenomenon.

Going up to Baguio. From Manila it would take 5-6 hours. But since we came from Alaminos, it took us about 4 hours with 2 to 3 stops in between for snacks and bladder breaks.

Going up to Baguio. From Manila it would take 5-6 hours. But since we came from Alaminos, it took us about 4 hours with 2 to 3 stops in between for snacks and bladder breaks.

Road trip to Baguio.

Road trip to Baguio.

Gallery

A quick stop at Vocas for some local choco and coffee drink. This white room is one of the Galleries of the cafe, displaying local art.

Vocas cafe/gallery

Vocas cafe/gallery main stage.

During our stay in Baguio, we stayed at Villa Cordillera. Away from the city’s noise and pollution. The kind of accommodation suited for people looking for a more peaceful stay in Baguio.

Outside Villa Cordillera.

Outside Villa Cordillera.

Inside the lobby of Villa Cordillera where we checked-in.

Inside the lobby of Villa Cordillera.

Just hanging out at the balcony of Villa Cordillera.

Just hanging out at the balcony of Villa Cordillera. Overlooking pine trees and nature.

The two giant radars on top of Mount Santo Tomas.

The two giant radars on top of Mount Santo Tomas.

Baguio January 2013 Baguio January 2013

Just like Benguet.

Vegetable terraces. Just like the rice terraces in Benguet.

Baguio January 2013 IMG_2236

The radars.

The twin radars at the peak.

Of course, a jump shot!

Of course, a jump shot!

Accommodations: Villa Cordillera – Highly recommended by LonelyPlanet Philippines; perched in the midst of pine trees, misty mornings, views the fog cloaked mountains of the Cordillera, where sights and sounds of nature call into the weary traveller for a warm and relaxing stay. (This is not a paid advertisement)

Location: Outlook Drive, Baguio City, Philippines, 2600
Tel. No. (63) (074) 619-2062 to 64

Watch our video during road trip to Mount Santo Tomas here.

More photos here.